Getting a job after college is taking a long time
Among employed recent college graduates, just 69% landed their job within six months of graduation, according to a May report by the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University in New Jersey. For those without a college degree, the lead time can be even longer, experts say, as college graduates snap up the few opportunities that their non-college-educated counterparts might otherwise have had. . . .
Despite that, so far students at colleges are apparently moving towards easier majors. From the WSJ:
But during her sophomore year at Carnegie Mellon University, Ms. Zhou switched her major from electrical and computer engineering to a double major in psychology and policy management. Workers who majored in psychology have median earnings that are $38,000 below those of computer engineering majors, according to an analysis of U.S. Census data by Georgetown University.
"My ability level was just not there," says Ms. Zhou of her decision. She now plans to look for jobs in public relations or human resources. . . .
Time will tell if the poor job market persuaded more students to push into disciplines such as engineering and science. Although the number of college graduates increased about 29% between 2001 and 2009, the number graduating with engineering degrees only increased 19%, according to the most recent statistics from the U.S. Dept. of Education. The number with computer and information-sciences degrees decreased 14%. Since students typically set their majors during their sophomore year, the first class that chose their major in the midst of the recession graduated this year.
Research has shown that graduating with these majors provides a good foundation not just for so-called STEM jobs, or those in the science, technology, engineering, and math fields, but a whole range of industries where earnings expectations are high. Business, finance and consulting firms, as well as most health-care professions, are keen to hire those who bring quantitative skills and can help them stay competitive. . . .